recording of Twelve Years a Slave, by Solomon Northup.
Read by Rob Board.
Twelve Years a Slave is the memoir of a freeborn African American from New York who is kidnapped and sold into slavery. After being held for twelve years on a series of Louisiana plantations, he is eventually freed and reunited with his family. Solomon Northup published his memoir the year he was rescued, 1853, and, arriving soon after Harriet Beecher Stowe's "Uncle Tom's Cabin", it proved a bestseller. It is notable not only for its lucid description of plantation life, with detailed passages on the methods by which cotton and sugarcane were harvested and processed, and how slaves were fed, housed and punished, but also for the author's evenhanded treatment of his subject: although he denounces slavery as an institution, Northup expresses his gratitude to the masters who treated him with gentleness and generosity, and shows a surprising ability to forgive even the most unimaginable cruelties.(Summary by RobBoard)
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June 18, 2014
Excellent and moving book, fine reading
The book is excellent, and I was quite surprised that Uncle Tom's Cabin became so well known while this book relatively unknown in recent times. It is only because of the film did I hear about the book (and I wanted to "read" the book before I see the film). Northrup's testimony is impressive and his ability to distinguish between shades of evil, even among slave-owners, and the influence of society and cultural norms on morals, is admirable.